John MacArthur – The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory

Scripture gives us a complete — albeit contested — account of God’s work on the first day of creation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1–5)

Verse 1 is a general statement. The rest of Genesis 1 unfolds the sequence of God’s creative work, starting with a “formless and void” earth.

The Barren Planet

As day one emerges from eternity, we find the earth in a dark and barren condition. The construction of the Hebrew phrase that opens verse 2 is significant. The subject comes before the verb, as if to emphasize something remarkable about it. It might be translated, “As to the earth, it was formless and void.” Here is a new planet, the very focus of God’s creative purpose, and it was formless and void. The Hebrew expression is tohu wa bohu. Tohu signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. Bohu means “empty.” The earth was an empty place of utter desolation.

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Dr. Terry Mortenson – The Religion of Naturalism

Naturalism, or philosophical naturalism, is one of the most popular religions in the world today, although most people don’t recognize it as such because it has no obvious worship centers, clergy, liturgy, or holy book. It has adherents in every country and dominates many countries, especially among the intellectual elites in the culture. It is therefore important to understand this major religion and how it became so popular. But sadly, it has also had a very significant and largely unrecognized influence on the worldview of many Christians, which is an even greater reason for Christians to understand it.

Naturalism is known by other names: atheism, scientific materialism, and secular humanism. Atheists, secular humanists, and other advocates of naturalism will protest that their view is a religion, but would say it is the opposite of religion. So we need to begin by defining “religion.” According to the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, one definition of religion is “the service and worship of God or the supernatural.” That obviously doesn’t apply to atheism. But another given by that dictionary certainly does apply: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Many people who hold to naturalism are just as passionate about their belief as the most convinced Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or adherents of any other religion.

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Dominic Statham – The Age of the Earth and Why It Matters

From time to time, we meet people who reject evolution and would call themselves ‘creationists’, but who, nevertheless, accept that the earth and its rocks are millions of years old. In some cases, they feel that identifying as ‘young earth creationists’ would cause them to appear foolish and that this would undermine the credibility of their Christian witness. In responding to this, I believe that it is a mistake to begin with science. Instead, I find a better approach is to talk about God, His nature and glory, His original, perfect creation and how this changed due to our sin. This helps people to see why an ancient earth cannot be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching.

The glory of God

God’s love, holiness, justice and wisdom are beyond telling. Such is His glory that anyone who actually saw Him might expect to die. When God’s goodness passed in front of Moses, God had to provide protection, placing him in a cleft in a rock and covering him with His hand (Exodus 33:19–23). In heaven, God is worshipped incessantly, day and night (Revelation 4:8). The worshippers prostrate themselves before Him proclaiming, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11, emphasis added).

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Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – Does Gill Embryology Show Fish Evolved from a Common Ancestor?

Gill embryology is similar in all sorts of fish, but this does not support the fishy story of our evolutionary past.

Can a landmark discovery about how fish embryos grow their gills connect us firmly to roots under the sea? Cambridge University zoologists J. Andrew Gillis and Olivia R.A. Tidswell think so.

Fish use gills to extract oxygen from water. Evolutionists maintain that vertebrates without gills—like us—have gills “present as vestiges in our own embryology.”1 (More on that below.) But where did gills come from in the first place? Enquiring evolutionists want to know! To find out, they look for similarities in the gills of different sorts of fish embryos. They hope to thereby unveil the gills of the common evolutionary ancestor of all fish and to gain a clue about how very different groups of fish—jawless, bony, and cartilaginous—diverged.

A Fishy Controversy

The skate is a jawed fish with a cartilaginous skeleton. Like all fish, it has gills. Gillis and Tidswell have used modern methods to study the skate’s embryonic gill development. Their surprising discovery has resolved a long-standing controversy and overturned information accepted since the 19th century. The controversy has hinged on the cellular origin of gills within a fish embryo.

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Bodie Hodge – About 6,000 Years or 10,000 Years: Does It Matter?

Brief Introduction

In a culture that demands Christians give up the Bible and accept the secular humanist age of the earth at billions of years, it seems the discussion about 6,000 years vs. 10,000 years gets left behind. Yes, biblical creationists unite to battle the secular dating system and that is the “bigger fish to fry,” but at times, we can’t ignore the little fish in the bucket that needs to be cooked up too.

Where Is the Debate?

Statements of faith from various ministries can range, depending on their ministerial focus—and rightly so. But the foundation of our faith goes back to the early pages of Genesis, so we at Answers in Genesis encourage Christians to take a stand on biblical creation and have a statement to reflect it. Many times we applaud the way these statements on creation are stated, and in other cases we groan.

Some Christians try to avoid the subject by generically stating that God created. Of course that leaves room for Christians who mix their Christianity with certain tenets of other religions like humanism’s origins account. For example, when Christians deviate from the Bible in Genesis and deny biblical origins, they are trading it for secular humanistic origins such as evolution, millions of years, and/or the big bang.

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Michael Oard – Can the Relative Timing of Radioisotope Dates be Applied to Biblical Geology?

The idea of using relative radiometric dating as a template for biblical earth history mostly sandwiches 4.567 billion years of uniformitarian history into 377 days of biblical earth history. In such a relative dating scheme, large bolides would impact during Creation Week and dinosaur tracks would occur during the Recessive Stage of the Flood, resulting in contradictions with biblical expectations. Radiometric dates are unlikely to be precise enough to be used as an absolute biblical timescale. The appeal to a relative timescale does not deal with previous creationists’ arguments on the problems of radiometric dating either. Fission track dates are too variable to be used for an absolute biblical timeframe. The dating fiasco over Leakey’s skull 1470 shows that radiometric dates have a large range and that all dates, especially ‘wrong’ dates, are not published. The assumption in relative dating that the pre-Flood/Flood boundary is near the very late Precambrian does not fare well under scrutiny. Many aspects of Precambrian sedimentary rocks show features expected from the Flood and not from the Creation Week. The idea that there were three periods of crustal formation caused by episodes of supercontinental spreading and collision during a few hours of Day 3 does not seem warranted.

Creationists reject the old ages of radiometric dating schemes. In recent years, however, some have proposed that these old radiometric dates can be used in a relative sense for absolute biblical earth history. Representative of this position is John Baumgardner:

“When applied with care, radioisotope methods represent a powerful tool for creationist research, primarily as a means to establish the correct chronology of events in the earth’s physical past… . A key implication is that the relative chronology of the geological record, as worked out with considerable investment of resources by the secular earth science community, including tens of thousands of man-years of effort, can in large measure be utilized immediately by young-earth creationists.”

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John Hartnett – Big Bang Beliefs: Busted

The commonly accepted big bang model supposedly determines the history of the universe precisely (see Figure 1). Yet to do so, it is filled with unprovable fudge factors. That may sound like an exaggerated claim, but it seems to be the state of cosmology today.

This situation has come about because the unverifiable starting assumptions are inherently wrong! Some brave physicists have had the temerity to challenge the ruling paradigm — the standard big bang ΛCDM inflation cosmology. One of those is Prof. Richard Lieu, Department Chair, Astrophysics, University of Alabama, who wrote:

“Cosmology is not even astrophysics: all the principal assumptions in this field are unverified (or unverifiable) in the laboratory … .” [emphasis added]

He goes on to say that this is “because the Universe offers no control experiment, …” He means that the same observations can be interpreted in several different ways. Because there are no other universes to compare ours with, you can’t determine absolutely which is the correct answer. That means, we do not know what a typical universe should look like. As a result cosmologists today are inventing all sorts of stuff that has just the right properties to make their theories work, but it is stuff that has never been observed in the lab. They have become “comfortable with inventing unknowns to explain the unknown”, says Lieu.

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Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – Resolving Human Evolutionary Dating Dilemmas

Discrepancies plague the human evolutionary timeline.

If you listen closely to newscasters, schoolteachers, and evolutionary experts when they talk about our evolutionary history, you will notice discrepancies in the numbers they quote. Do those discrepancies bother you? Or do you, like many people, simply hear another really big number and move on with your day? Well, those discrepancies are pretty big, and they bother scientists who are concerned about the accuracy of their claims.

Now keep in mind that evolutionary scientists are not in the habit of questioning whether or not apelike-creature-to-human evolution occurred. Nor are they in the habit of attributing the sorts of differences that distinguish us modern humans from Neanderthals to a cause any different from that which makes us different from our supposed ape cousins. But, with complete confidence that we are the products of millions of years of evolution, they would like to know when the key events in our evolutionary history happened.

To that end, the Guardian recently published an in-depth article summarizing the human-dating dilemma and announcing its imminent resolution. The publication titled this celebration of an apparent evolutionary victory “Why We’re Closer Than Ever to a Timeline for Human Evolution.”

Let’s have a look at the molecular clock credited with resolving the timeline and see if, as the Guardian proclaims, we really are “closer than ever to a timeline for human evolution.” Are we, as the Guardian claims, nearly ready to salute a chimp and know “the correct number of ‘greats’” between his great-great-so-many-greats grandpappy and ours?

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Paul James-Griffiths – Creation Days and Orthodox Jewish Tradition

After years of agonizing over the literal days of creation in Genesis, I decided to spend time researching this problem at the London School of Jewish Studies in Hendon, England. After all, I thought, why shouldn’t I go to the natural Jewish vine for some answers? (Of course, one should be cautious to distinguish between real exegesis of the Word of God, which must always overrule the ‘traditions of men’ [Mark 7:13], and we’ll see some examples. Although not covered here, it applies especially to modern Judaic revisionism of the Messianic passages after the rise of Christianity.1)

On my arrival, a Yeshiva (religious study group) was in process among the Orthodox students. But I was shown to the library where a bearded Rabbi pulled out the best conservative commentaries on the days of creation, along with the Talmud. This is the code of Jewish oral tradition interpreting the Torah or the Law of Moses, completed in the 5th century AD.

Eager to study, I took notes from these learned works, which had been compiled by some of the most eminent scholars in Judaism. It was a strange experience being surrounded by Orthodox Jews meticulously scrutinizing ancient books. After days of careful study of the conservative Rabbinical scholars, I had my answer: the days of Genesis were literal.

I turned to Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra’s commentary on Genesis. This scholar (c. 1089–1167) from medieval Spain is highly regarded in traditional Rabbinical circles, and his commentary was highly commended by Maimonides (1135–1204). Maimonides (a.k.a. Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, or the acronym Rambam) has been considered the key figure in Judaism since the Temple was destroyed in AD 70.

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Ken Ham – Was There Death Before Adam Sinned?

Which history of death do you accept?

Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity…Charles [Darwin] now took his stand as an unbeliever.”

When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book On the Origin of Species, he was in essence writing a history concerning death. In the conclusion of the chapter entitled “On the Imperfections of the Geological Record,” Darwin wrote, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

From his evolutionary perspective on the origin of life, Darwin recognized that death had to be a permanent part of the world. Undoubtedly, he struggled with this issue as he sought to reconcile some sort of belief in God with the death and suffering he observed all around him, and which he believed had gone on for millions of years.

This struggle came to a climax with the death of his daughter Annie — said to be “the final death-knell for his Christianity.”

Belief in evolution and/or millions of years necessitates that death has been a part of history since life first appeared on this planet. The fossil layers (containing billions of dead things) supposedly represent the history of life over millions of years. As Carl Sagan is reported to have said, “The secrets of evolution are time and death.”

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